James Therien, the technical director of Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity release, explained the company’s decision not to include playable female characters in an interview with VideoGamer, stating:
It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it’s a question of focus and production. So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes. It would have doubled the work on those things… Again, it’s not a question of philosophy or choice in this case at all… it was a question of focus and a question of production. Yes, we have tonnes of resources, but we’re putting them into this game, and we have huge teams, nine studios working on this game and we need all of these people to make what we are doing here.”
With the rising percentage of women gaming, “huge teams” working on the project, and an impressive budget, this is a colossal missed opportunity for the franchise to be inclusive of half of their fan base.
This is a particularly disappointing turn of events considering this is the same company that developed the badass WoC Aveline de Grandpré. For shame, Ubisoft.